Mayapur, West Bengal
We hooked up at Delhi’s airport, then flew to Kolkata for a crazy taxi drive to Mayapura. It was Pariksit, Parama, Karuna, and some members of our drama troupe who took the last leg of the journey together. I was greeted by Keshava and swarmed with additional love by Vaishnava, Janaki, and Suniti, Canadians who spend the winter in India. Also on board was Dustin Hines whom I took for a walk.
Who is Dustin? It seems that just about everyone in Mayapur knows Dustin. His tenor operatic voice is being used in many venues for chanting on the Mayapur campus. In fact, next to my room in the Gada building, I sat with Marshall, my support on last summer’s U.S. walk, when Dustin’s voice was on the iPod. “I know those vocals!” I thought.
I like to take people I know along the Tarampura Road out back, then the trail parallel to the Jalangi River. “ Here are the trees they tap for the sap,” I pointed out to Dustin. “And these are rice paddy fields. There is mustard growing. Soon the coriander will manifest. Perhaps they are ready for harvest. I just haven’t seen it yet.” https://instagram.com/p/BeZnO6flWpz/
I ventured into the temple room with Dustin when the mic came to my mouth. “Lead!” Said the chanter.
“Okay!” And I flung the mic to Kripanidhi, another pilgrim from Canada, and we alternately sang.
Yes, here in Mayapur, we reunite with so many friends. Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, encouraged an annual visit to such sacred places as Mayapur. It is a battery charger. As Dhruva from Montreal, who is also sharing the room with Marshall, said, “It is a necessity.”
Yes, a break from mundane doings!
May the Source be with you!